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Background

Old Ayr Town Centre

The Business Listings of the 19th and 20th Centuries show the economic prosperity witnessed by Ayr town through its shopping industry.

Major improvements to build actual shop fronts took place in the early 19th Century along with the development of the Sandgate and Newmarket Street with cobbled streets and open sewers to carry off rainwater.

Ayr’s first department store was David Hourston’s Draper’s Emporium in Alloway Street (1896). The Directory for 1913-1914 shows the prosperity of the town with reference to antique dealers, photographers, music teachers, laundries, picture frame makers and typewriting offices.

Shopping facilities were extended from 1950 –1980 with major stores like Marks and Spencer, Littlewoods and the Kyle Centre in 1988. A further shopping centre has been built on the site of the old Wool Mill in 2006.

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Ayr High Street looking North
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Old Ayr High Street image
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Old Ayr Burns Statue Square
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Old Ayr Carrick Street image
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Old Ayr Town Map 1818
Ayr Town Map by Jown Wood - 1818
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Ayr painting
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